My Job Went to India

My Job Went to India“You might not know it, but you’ve already lost your job.”

Thus begins the back cover of Chad Fowler’s new book, My Job Went to India (And All I Got Was This Lousy Book). Hey, it caught my attention too! I recently finished tearing through Chad’s 185-page book and have to say that it was one of the best work-related reads I’ve had in quite a while. The writing was clear, chapter organization made sense, and the content was nothing short of phenomenal.

Have you ever questioned how much value you’re bringing to your company? Have you ever wondered when… or if… the outsourcing will stop? Have you ever brainstormed about ways to make your existing job more secure? If you’re a typical American programmer, the answer to these questions is probably, “Yep, sure have.” If this is true for you, Chad’s book will answer many of the questions you have, and give you a radically different perspective on the outsourcing movement… a perspective that will change how you treat your job.

This book is structured very much like the upcoming Practices of an Agile Developer. It’s split up into 52 bite-sized chunks of information that can be read in a matter of minutes. Each chunk, however, brings fresh ideas to bear on the problem of outsourcing and explains steps you can take today to ensure that you remain competitive in tomorrow’s job market.

I found Part IV, “Marketing… Not Just For Suits,” to be especially relevant. As a developer, I have a tendency to consider personal marketing as being a useless exercise, when in fact it’s a vital part of participating in the software development community. Marketing isn’t just about advertising, as Chad explains in the book. It involves engaging the community. It’s about blogging, writing for magazines, contributing to open source projects, speaking at conferences, and mentoring co-workers. In short, thinking more about what you can give to the community than what you can get from it. When an employer can see that you love the art of software development so much that you’re willing to spend your own time on it, they’ll be impressed. As Chad writes, “If you’re not actively trying to make your mark, you’re probably not making it.”

If you’ve ever worried about the coder next door (or on the other side of the world) who is threatening your job, this is the first book you should read. A wonderful side effect of the book is that it will encourage you to be more passionate about your work, and to strive to give 110% every single day.